On Feb. 19, a male dog was euthanized by Animal Care Services following a Feb. 9 attack on a 22-year-old man.
The Feb. 9 incident occured at approximately 9:52 a.m. on the 500 block of 18th St. Corpus Christi Police Officers and CCFD Medics arrived at the scene to investigate a report of a dog bite with injuries. A 22-year-old man was discovered with multiple bites to his arms and legs. The victim told officers that he was attacked by a pack of three to five dogs, and pointed the officers in the direction of where he believed the dogs had returned following the attack.
The 22-year-old victim was escorted by a friend to Spohn Memorial Hospital for treatment of the dog bites.
A fireman at the scene told police officers that the dogs were loose when the medics arrived and pointed out a residence where two of the dogs had been taken. Corpus Christi Animal Control Officers responded to MMC and contacted the victim, who told ACOs that he had been walking down the street when he was attacked by a pack of three to five dogs and at least two came from the same residence.
ACOs photographed the man’s injuries and then went to the scene of the attack where they contacted a woman. The woman, who was in possession of one of two dogs that attacked the man, initially denied the dog belonged to her, denied living at the address, claimed the dog had been restrained the whole time, and claimed that the other dogs were strays.
A police officer at the scene told ACOs that she had seen the dog loose when she arrived on scene and a neighbor told officers that the second dog had been driven away from the home by another woman. Officers impounded that dog, a female pit-bull mix, at the scene and transported it to Animal Shelter to be held for the mandatory ten day quarantine period.
ACOs checked the address and discovered there had been nine previous complaints of aggressive dog calls, including complaints from City Code Enforcement Officers and US Postal Carriers. Most calls indicated that the dog owners allowed their dogs to run loose and that they were becoming progressively more aggressive toward citizens living in the neighborhood. ACOs were able to identify the person who took the second dog, also a pit-bull mix, from the scene, contacted her and convinced her to bring the dog to Animal Control for the ten day quarantine. That woman told officers that the dog belonged to her son, who was in jail. The dog had no registration tag, no microchip, or tattoo to properly identify the owner.
Animal Control Officers contacted the resident of the address to attempt to impound the outstanding two dogs. The woman agreed to surrender the dog, but failed to follow through on her agreement. The remaining two dogs from the vicious attack were never found.
Animal Control Officers checked records and could not find any record of any animal being registered to anyone at the address where the dogs lived. Officers further checked and could not find any registration under any of the names given by any of the women.
Both dogs were kept in quarantine at Animal Care Services. During this time period, both dogs were evaluated by Shelter Vet Dr. M. Draper, who determined both dogs were highly aggressive and recommended they be deemed as Dangerous Dogs under the Texas Health and Safety Code. On February 19th at 10:11 am the male dog was euthanized by Animal Care Services staff. This was past the 240 hour state required quarantine period.
On February 20th, the female pit-bull, was released to the woman who admitted ownership at the beginning. Animal Care Services Staff failed to notify the alleged owner of male pit-bull mix that the dog was going to be euthanized and offer her one last opportunity to prove ownership. The ACO who euthanized the dog mistakenly believed that the dog had been “surrendered” by the owner.
In a statement, Animal Care Services admits that this entire incident "could have been handled better and offers our apologies. An internal investigation is underway to determine what possible departmental policy was violated and create a procedure to prevent this from happening again."